Off-leash dog park in Invermere could be a reality

The proposed off-leash dog park gets one step closer to achievement.

Several representatives met with the District of Invermere on March 14, at 4:30 p.m. at the District Office. The meeting was a long-awaited discussion regarding the proposed off-leash dog park. Petitions for the proposed park, created by Jo-El Buerlen, were distributed throughout Invermere and Windermere locales in early February.

The petitions were recently collected, tallying several hundred names in favour of the park. The Facebook group page, Kenny’s Dog Park, currently has close to 200 members as well. Buzz Harmsworth, who had seen the article regarding the dog park in The Valley Echo’s February 9 issue, contacted Buerlen to offer a donation of two acres for land for the park, in case the suggested crown land that had been recommended did not work out.

“It’s an idea I’ve had before,” said Harmsworth, who was in attendance at the district meeting. “It was something my granddaughter had brought up. It’s a nuisance that there isn’t a place to have your dog run free and socialize.”

The district was in favour of allowing Harmsworth’s land, which is located on West Side Road South, before Castle Rock, becoming a short-term location for an off-leash dog park.

Two other areas, both crown land, will be investigated by the district for possible long-term locations for an off-leash dog park. These areas would take much more time and work before being confirmed as long-term locations.

Buerlen, Harmsworth, ICAN and District of Invermere dog control officer Carol Dobson, who were in attendance, will now proceed with ensuring the short-term location on West Side Road South will have the proper insurance.

Fencing, dog stations, signs and a small parking area will also be pursued after the area is properly insured.